Being a dad doesn’t always come with the exact family configuration we thought we’d end up with. Some dads are single, widowed, or divorced. Regardless, they are dads all the same, and at some point, they may decide to start dating.
No matter how old your kids are, heading out on a date is inevitably going to come with complications. We don’t know how your date’s going to go, but we do have a few ideas to make sure you don’t crash and burn on the dad end of the equation. No matter how you slice it, dating as a single dad is tricky and there’s no easy route. We suggest keeping in mind these 5 points for single dads heading into the dating scene.Dishonesty is never the right way to handle difficult issues with your children.
1. Don’t keep secrets from your kids.
Let the kids know what’s going on. Daddy has a friend and we’re going out for dinner. If telling your kids the truth about what you’re doing would be too much for them to handle at this time, then this might not be the time to start dating. Dishonesty is never the right way to handle difficult issues with your children.
2. Respect your children’s school night curfews.
Routine in family life is important even under ideal circumstances, and parenting is job one. When you’re a single dad, it’s even more critical to make sure the kids enjoy some predictability in their schedule.
3. Do not have an overnight guest in their home.
Don’t be a hypocrite. You wouldn’t let your teen’s date stay the night, so don’t add confusion to a moral compass that’s still being set.
4. Kids embarrass easily; practice discretion.
Kissing? Holding hands? Familiarity? Kids are very nuanced when it comes to observing relationship cues. Of course, a lot depends on where things are with their mom. But when in doubt, err on the side of discretion. And we’re not just talking about in the house. Be extra careful on social media too.
5. Have a friend or brother hold you accountable.
This list may help and so may common sense, but nothing beats talking things over with a trusted friend. Accountability is always a good call, but it’s especially helpful when you’re exploring these new relationships. We weren’t created to experience life in isolation, so take advantage of community.
Sound off: What tips would you give a single dad as he starts to date?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Do you have any concerns about me dating?”